Living in the Smiles of God

Live much in the smiles of God.
Bask in his beams.
Feel his all-seeing eye
settled on you in love,
and repose in his almighty arms.

— Robert Murray M’Cheyne
(1813-1843)

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He cannot go back

God loves you so utterly and completely that he’s given himself for you in Jesus Christ his beloved Son and has thereby pledged his very being as God for your salvation. In Jesus Christ, God has actualized his unconditional love for you and your human nature in such a way once for all that he cannot go back upon it without undoing the incarnation and the cross and thereby denying himself.

–Tom Torrance

He loved you into existence

He loves you not only because you are here,   but also you are here because He loved you   into existence.

–Malcolm Smith

Look again at the Gift

Do you feel that God loves you?  Look again at the Gift of the Son and you will see the Father – the Father of Jesus and your Father.  See this Gift given to you and remember that He is yours not because you are good – you aren’t; not because you were receptive – you weren’t; but because of God’s own prior and indomitable love.  See His nature expressed in Jesus.  See Him spread His arms, though it cost Him His life, and know that this is the love of God for you.

–Glen Scrivener

The exuberance of infinite love

This love which He has for us bears His infinite character. He does not love us as we do, with a limited and narrow love. When He loves, the dimensions of His love are infinite. He descends from heaven to earth to seek the creature of clay, which He loves. He becomes man and clay with him. He gives His flesh to eat. It is by such wonders of love that the infinite surpasses all the affection of which men are capable. He loves as a God, and this love is entirely incomprehensible. It is the height of folly to wish to measure infinite love by limited knowledge. Far from losing any of His greatness by this excess of love, He engraves it with the character of His greatness, marking it with the exuberance and ecstasy of an infinite love.

–François Fénelon (1651-1715)

The deepest truth about God

Now what is the deepest in God? His power? No, for power could not make Him what we mean when we say God. Evil could, of course, never create one atom; but let us understand very plainly, that a being whose essence was only power would be such a negation of the divine that no righteous worship could be offered Him. His service must be fear, and fear only. Such a being, even were He righteous in judgment, yet could not be God.

The God Himself whom we love could not be righteous were He not something deeper and better still than we generally mean by the word — but, alas, how little can language say without seeming to say something wrong! In one word, God is Love. Love is the deepest depth, the essence of His nature, at the root of all His being.

–George MacDonald

Love has a Face

It is all about Love. Love is the foundation, the focus; the how, the why; the reason, the promise, the call, the catalyst, the flame, the goal, the mandate, the mantle, the method, the message, the heartbeat, the demonstration, the answer, the everything because Love is WHO HE IS.

–Michele Perry

The most prevalent malady

I think that of all the diseases in the world, the disease that all humankind suffers from, the disease that is most devastating to us is not AIDS, it’s not gluttony, it’s not cancer, it’s not any of those things. It is the disease that comes about because we live in ignorance of the wealth of love that God has for us.

–Rich Mullins

Love beyond our desiring

When Christianity says that God loves man, it means that God loves man: not that He has some ‘disinterested’, because really indifferent, concern for our welfare, but that, in awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love. You asked for a loving God: you have one. The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the ‘lord of the terrible aspect’, is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, nor the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artists’s love for his work and despotic as a man’s love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father’s love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between sexes. How this should be, I do not know: it passes reason to explain why any creatures, not to say creatures such as we, should have a value so prodigious in their Creator’s eyes. It is certainly a burden of glory not only beyond our deserts but also, except in rare moments of grace, beyond our desiring…

–C. S. Lewis

The revelation of God

Love . . .
is the revelation of God.
And the revelation of God
is Jesus Christ.

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What someone doesn’t want you to know about God

I know of no truth in the whole Bible that ought to come home to us with such power and tenderness as that of the Love of God; and there is no truth in the Bible that Satan would so much like to blot out. For more than six thousand years he has been trying to persuade men that God does not love them.

–Dwight L. Moody

Published in: on 03/07/2012 at 7:03  Leave a Comment  
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He loves to love

God loves you because he loves you. He loves you, not for what you can do for him, 
but for what he can do for you. You are of infinite worth 
to the One who gave his all 
that you might spend eternity with him.

–Grantley Morris

Published in: on 03/06/2012 at 8:48  Leave a Comment  
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The greatest hindrance

Some of us believe that God is almighty and can do everything; and that he is all-wise and may do everything; but that he is all-love and will do everything—there we draw back. As I see it, this ignorance is the greatest of all hindrances of God’s lovers.

–Julian of Norwich

Published in: on 03/05/2012 at 6:06  Leave a Comment  
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Love that cannot be earned

Do I really believe that I am loved first, independent of what I do or what I accomplish? This is an important question because as long as I think that what I most need I have to earn, deserve and collect by hard work, I will never get what I most need and desire, which is a love that cannot be earned, but that is freely given. Thus, my return is my willingness to renounce such thoughts and to choose to live more and more from my true identity as a cherished child of God.

–Henry Nouwen

His nature is to love

Why does God love sinners? . . . He loves them because it is in His nature to love, because He is love. Unceasingly, He gives in spontaneous love. He loves not because of what we are but because of what He is: He is love. This is a new and distinct idea in Christianity . . .

–Leon Morris

Nothing outshines His love

In the conception of God that we have found and created in our own mind, if anything other than love is paramount, we have a distortion and an idol of the mind. If we have a concept where the justice of God becomes greater than His love, a concept where the omnipotence of God overrules His love, where the sovereignty of God outshines His love, and the omniscience of God puts His love into the shadows, then we have a false concept of God. For we have been told by one who knows, that God IS LOVE! That does not mean that He is not just, righteous, sovereign and wise, but all these are rooted in the fact that He is preeminently THE LOVING CREATOR AND REDEEMER OF THIS WORLD!

–J. Preston Eby

Love is a Person

Jesus said, “He that has seen Me, has seen the Father.” Christ came to reveal to each one of us the God that nobody knew. There were the fiery gods of the pagans, demanding the sacrifice of children to appease their demands. There were the brooding gods of the Hindus, leaving man in a never-ending-circle of searching — only to worship a cow.

There were the capricious gods of the Greeks, who leave man in doubt and dismay at the unpredictable twists and turns of life. And, of course, there is the angry god of Muslims, who evidently requires that his devotees slay all infidels to prove their faith, and then kill themselves in an unholy holy act to insure themselves 70 virgins in heaven. (By the way, did anyone bother to ask the virgins how they feel about this?)

And even the Christian Faith is filled with mixed images and vain imaginations about the One True God — leaving most of us motivated out of guilt, shame, or fear — rather than faith, hope, and love.

But God is Love — and we need only look into the face of Jesus and all our confusion about God is dispelled. So, now abides faith, hope and love — and the greatest of these is Love. For faith is a power, hope is a promise, but Love is a Person.

–James Ryle

Published in: on 02/29/2012 at 7:07  Leave a Comment  
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His inmost nature

Men are too ready to look upon God as crushing force and cold omniscience. Had Christ appeared on earth with all His splendours about Him, He would have perpetuated our mistake. But He took another way. It is the very essence of the Word to be the Divine expression of the inmost nature of God. The inmost nature of God is love, and when Christ emptied Himself of the excercise of omnipotence and infinite knowledge, He did not empty Himself of love. He divested Himself only of that which would have dazzled and distracted us, in order that we might see His love more perfectly. The self-sacrifice of Bethlehem, leading on to that of Calvary, leaves no room for doubt.

–Arthur J. Mason

Published in: on 02/28/2012 at 4:30  Leave a Comment  
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The true glory of God

For the divinest thing in God is love, and the true ‘glory of God’ is neither some symbolical flashing light nor the pomp of mere power and majesty; nor even those inconceivable and incommunicable attributes which we christen with names like Omnipotence and Omnipresence and Infinitude, and the like. These are all at the fringes of the brightness. The true central heart and lustrous light of the glory of God lie In His love, and of that glory Christ is the unique Representative and Revealer, because He is the only Begotten Son, and ‘full of grace and truth.’

–Alexander McLaren
(1826 – 1910)

Published in: on 02/27/2012 at 12:13  Leave a Comment  
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A self-giving God

God’s divinity does not consist in his ability to push things around, to make and break, to impose his will from the security of some heavenly remoteness, and to sit in grandeur while all the world does his bidding. Far from staying above the world, he sends his own glory into it. Far from imposing, he invites and persuades. Far from demanding service from men in order to enhance himself, he gives his life in service to men for their enhancement. But God acts toward the world in this way because within himself he is a life of total self-giving.

–Arthur McGill

The controlling attribute

If one perfection of God shines out in redemption with greater effulgence than any other, it is this. Love is the focus of all the rest, the golden thread which draws and binds them all together in holy and beautiful cohesion. Love was the moving, controlling attribute in God’s great expedient of saving sinners. Justice may have demanded it, holiness may have required it, wisdom may have planned it, and power may have executed it, but love originated the whole, and was the moving cause in the heart of God; so that the salvation of the sinner is not so much a manifestation of the justice, or holiness, or wisdom, or power of God, as it is a display of His love.

–Octavius Winslow
(1808 – 1878)

Published in: on 02/24/2012 at 18:46  Leave a Comment  
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By Love alone

God is present by Love alone. By Love alone He is great and glorious. By Love alone He lives and feels in other persons. By Love alone He enjoys all the creatures, by Love alone He is pleasing to Himself, by Love alone He is rich and blessed…  The Soul is shrivelled up and buried in a grave that does not love. But that which does love wisely and truly is the joy and end of all the world, the King of Heaven, and the Friend of God.

–Thomas Traherne
(1637?-1674)

Published in: on 02/24/2012 at 6:29  Leave a Comment  
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Love is God’s essence

 

Love is God’s essence. Nowhere else does the Scripture express God’s essence in this way. Scripture says God is just and merciful, but it does not say that God is justice itself or mercy itself. It does say that God is love, not just a love. Love is God’s very essence. Everything else is a manifestation of this essence to us, a relationship between this essence and us. This is the absolute, everything else is relative to it.

–Peter Kreeft

Published in: on 02/23/2012 at 7:20  Comments (1)  
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Love’s consuming fire

God is burning with love. God is a consuming fire because love is a consuming fire. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have been in a state of all-consuming but ever-generating love for each other form before all time. This love, being love, is reaching beyond itself, to generate an ever-expanding loving and beloved community. This is what the whole thing is all about.

Come on in, if you dare; the fire is fine…

This, and nothing less than this is what we we’re mystically wired for. We’re mystically wired for more love than we ever thought existed. We’re mystically wired to stand in the middle of love’s consuming fire and not so much as smell smoke.

–Ken Wilson

Generous beyond measure

I implore you in God’s name, not to think of Him as hard to please, but rather as generous beyond all that you can ask or think.

–Abbe de Tourville (1842-1903)

Published in: on 02/21/2012 at 7:39  Leave a Comment  
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The glow of love

God himself is Love; his Being is nothing but pure love, so that if one would paint God and secure a likeness he would have to achieve a picture that is all pure Love, as if the divine nature were nothing but a furnace and glow of Love that fills heaven and earth.

–Martin Luther

Published in: on 02/13/2012 at 7:15  Leave a Comment  
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Unstoppable goodness

Heaven is the pervading active presence of the Triune God. Because God is love, in heaven love flows like a mighty river and everyone will be swept up by the force and delight of its self giving passion. Because God is joy, in heaven no one is sour and somber; the atmosphere is alive with humour and laughter and enjoyment. Because God is holy, nothing will ever diminish or tarnish the unstoppable force of everlasting goodness and beauty.

–Jurgen Schulz

Published in: on 09/14/2011 at 0:35  Leave a Comment  
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Incomprehensible excess

We sinned
for no reason but
an incomprehensible
lack of love.
And He saved us
for no reason but
an incomprehensible
excess of love. 

–Peter Kreeft

Setting hearts on fire

 Christianity is

one loving heart setting

another heart on fire.

-St. Augustine (354 – 430)

Published in: on 07/19/2011 at 22:08  Leave a Comment  
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A sun that never sets

God’s love is a sun that never sets,
and never sinks;
is always, always at its
full noonday glory!

–A. J. Gossip

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